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Coronavirus: Banks and mobile firms collaborate to block text scams

The banking and mobile phone industries are claiming progress in the face of a surge in so-called spoofing scams aimed at exploiting the coronavirus crisis.

Lobby groups say collaboration, also involving the National Cyber Security Centre, has led to 400 sender IDs being blocked from sending scam text messages mimicking trusted organizations, including government departments and lenders. Sponsored link

Of those, 70 sender IDs were looking to capitalise on fears surrounding COVID-19, they said.Coronavirus: Infection numbers in real time

UK Finance, which represents banks, said 50 genuine brands had been protected from being impersonated by criminals to date.

It issued the update just weeks after alerting the public to a leap in spoofing – in which texts from criminals are so advanced they can even land in the same text chain as those previously sent by the genuine organisation.

The cross-industry initiative has seen the Mobile Ecosystem Forum develop a ‘white list” which allows organisations to register and protect the sender IDs used when sending out legitimate text messages.

Image:Fraudsters have been targeting mobile phone users

It said 172 trusted sender IDs had been registered to date.